After 18 days of preparation for this game, which included a five day warm weather training camp in La Manga, Spain and the assurance from head coach Steve McClaren that our players know how important the final 12 games of the season are – we still went down 1-0 to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium tonight.
The winning goal from Shaqiri came after 80 minutes although Stoke controlled most of the game and had most of the possession – as Newcastle seemed content to hang on for a draw.
Results are more important than performances at this stage of the season, so this was another very poor result for Newcastle and another away defeat – our 11th in 14 games – and our 7th in succession in all competitions – which is simply pathetic.
Doumbia had a good effort late in the game but it was well saved from Jack Butland but as usual with Newcastle it was too little too late.
Xherdan Shaqiri – fires home wonder goal
And Swansea beat Arsenal at the Emirates 2-1 tonight and the came from behind – and so they go to 30 points in 5th bottom place.
That’s a full 6 points above Newcastle, who now maybe in a bottom four shoot-out as we are being left behind by other sides like Swansea and Bournemouth who both won their games this week.
We thought before this game Newcastle were in really big trouble with Steve McClaren still as coach and our view has not changed – and we have to be real favorites for relegation given our terrible away form this season – 11 games lost in 14 games and only 7 goals scored on the road.
Now the game at Bournemouth on Saturday at home is a must-win game but if alarm bells are not going off loud and clear at St. James’ Park they should be because it looks like we are going down.
It looked like we could get a point out of this game, which was a dismal affair until Xherdan Shaqiri produced just a terrific wonder goal that gave goalkeeper Rob Elliot no chance at all.
So we suppose only conceding one goal away from home is something that McClaren in his post match interview will hail as an achievement.
But Newcastle seemed too content tonight to get the point away from home and we know when teams do that they very rarely get anything out of the game – and Newcastle have missed a great chance to bring in a new head coach after the Chelsea disaster.
With Steve McClaren continuing in charge we are almost certain now we will be relegated and this defeat is not exactly a surprise.
Surprisingly we don’t think he will be replaced and if we can beat Bournemouth he will stay in charge, but we are sinking fast as other teams just above us our starting to win their games.
In order to get away form the relegation zone you have to be brave in these games and try to win them – just look at Swansea tonight – going to Arsenal and winning the game 2-1.
We must have a top ten squad but it looks like we will be relegated because in all honesty Steve McClaren has been a disastrous appointment as head coach – the second such terrible appointment from Lee Charnley.
Newcastle have some decisions to make – they can keep with McClaren and go down – or else they can bring in a new coach and try to save the season.
That’s the choice – plain and simple.
Here’s the league positions after tonight’s games.